How to be a Better Parent (It Has Nothing to Do With Your Kids)

March 27, 2019

So I keep seeing these ads for parenting coaching or seminars or whatever on Facebook, and each one has some stressy-looking picture and has a lead like "Do you want to be a good parent but find yourself yelling all the time?" or "Do you want to be reading your kids bedtime stories at night but just end up fighting with them?"

I understand that one of the ways to sell a product is to point out the problem and provide a solution, but these ads just leave me feeling bad. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive, but it feels like they're emphasizing the failure and the unhappiness, which to me just attaches more negative energy to everything.

I don't want you to start working with me by making you feel bad. Sure, you're probably not seeking out a coach if everything's peachy, but to me, the problem isn't that you're a bad parent -- it's that you've been open minded enough to see that you can do better, and there's a discord between where you are and where you want to be. And you should feel good about yourself for having had that awareness.

In order to be a better parent, you need to increase your capacity for trust and compassion. Not for your kids, but for yourself. My philosophy is that parenting decisions are made either out of love, or fear. It's hard to avoid fear when you're coming from a place of scarcity, uncertainty, or doubt. These things are caused by your own self-esteem issues, the way in which you were brought up, and your ability to deal with stress or challenge. 

What you need is support, not someone reminding you that you're not good enough.